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Land Use Bylaw Amendments: Secondary & Accessory Suites

The proposed bylaw amendments are based off of recommendations from the Affordable Housing Task Force formed by Council to provide solutions to the challenge of affordable housing in Okotoks.  Council directed Administration to prepare amendments to the Land Use Bylaw that ease the regulations around creating secondary suites within a primary dwelling as well as accessory dwelling units.

The proposed changes reduce the requirements and regulations that have been prohibitive for homeowners to develop suites in the past to increase this type of housing as an option for Okotoks residents.   Please click buttons below to see recommended changes.  More detail is available in the More Information section. 

Dwelling, Secondary_Dwelling, Accessory Definitions

Dwelling, Secondary_Dwelling, Accessory Size Requirements

Dwelling, Secondary_Dwelling Accessory Parking Requirements

Dwelling, Secondary_Dwelling Accessory Amended Regulations

Dwelling, Secondary_Dwelling Accessory Allowed Lot Percentages


More Information
Change In Definitions
  • Currently, suites are allowed in both accessory dwellings on a parcel (above a garage, airplane hangar, separate building) as well as within the primary dwelling (basement suite). They are currently encapsulated under one definition. The proposed changes will split the uses into two separate definitions – one for suites within the primary dwelling and one for accessory dwelling units that are separate and subordinate to the primary dwelling. Additional considerations for the architectural design, window placement, rooflines and other features will be considered when reviewing development permits for accessory dwelling units.
Change in Parking Requirements to Support Suites
  • Although the parking requirement for suites is not changing, the proposed changes will reduce the requirement for parking for a single-detached dwelling from four (4) spaces to two (2) spaces for non-laned homes. This will allow suites to utilize parking that may have had to otherwise be allocated to the primary dwelling on the parcel. Previously, this resulted in homeowners having to pave a portion of their front lawn to provide for a fifth (5th) parking stall for the studio suite. In addition, the parking for a suite had to be non-tandem previously. This requirement is also proposed to be removed to allow for suites to develop without additional parking requirements on a parcel. For suites, the parking requirement will be one (1) space for one-bedroom units and two (2) spaces for two and three-bedroom units.
Change in Maximum Size
  • Currently, the Land Use Bylaw requires that a suite can be a maximum up to 40% of the Gross Floor Area (GFA) of the primary dwelling up to a maximum of 75m.  The current regulations also allow a maximum of one (1) bedroom in a suite. The proposed changes eliminate the maximum size requirement and allow up to three (3) bedrooms. This will increase housing options for town residents and allow for the potential for suites in bungalow type situations where it was previously hard to meet the 40% maximum when the suite was almost equal in size to the primary dwelling.
Maximum 15% of single-detached dwellings in a neighborhood can have a Secondary Suite or Accessory Dwelling
  • Currently, there is no limit on the number of homes that can have these dwelling types in a community. The proposed changes would create this maximum which would be tracked by Town Administration to ensure that this maximum was not exceeded prior to approving a secondary suite or accessory dwelling.
Additional Regulations to Mitigate Impact of Suites
  • Additional proposed changes to the Bylaw will not allow suites on parcels where there is a Home Occupation – Major, Bed and Breakfast, Family Day Home, Group Home or an existing suite or accessory dwelling. This is due to the intensity of multiple uses and potential parking and other impacts on adjacent properties.
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